Baden-Württemberg - Industrial production pushes region away from 2020 targets

Territorial assessment of climate action


Association Climate Chance (Climate Chance)

Since 2015, the Climate Chance Association has been involved in the mobilization in the fight against climate change. It is the only international association that proposes to bring together on an equal footing all non-state actors recognized by the UN. In order to strengthen their action and to give credibility to the climate stabilization scenarios, the Climate Chance Association launched in 2018 a Global Observatory of Non-State Climate Action, which aims to explain the evolution of greenhouse gas emissions, by crossing national public policies, with sectoral dynamics, private actors’ strategies, local public policies and actions undertaken by local actors. In order to analyse the coherence of local public policies, Climat Chance proposes an assessment of « territorial mobilisations » through selected examples of cities and regions. Here, the Bde-Würtemberg.

As a founding state of the Under2 MOU, Baden-Württemberg (BW) has committed itself to reduce its GHG emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 (Memorandum of Understanding). According to the National Statistical Office of Baden-Württemberg, 78.4 MtCO2eq were emitted in the region in 2016, i.e. 2.4% more than in 2015. This is the second consecutive increase, even though the overall trend of GHG emissions is downwards with a decrease of 12% compared to 1990, i.e. 10.7 MtCO2eq/year less. A further overall reduction of 11.6 MtCO2eq/year is needed to meet the 2020 target.


BW’s energy transition is all the more ambitious as it will have to simultaneously lead to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022, which accounts for almost 50% of its electricity. Coal- and gas-fired power plants will have to compensate for the decline in nuclear power production, in parallel with the boom in renewable energies. By 2025, renewables will have to cover 25% of final energy demand and 80% of electricity production by 2050. By 2016, they will have increased by 5% compared to 2015, and by 45% since 2006 to reach 50.8 TWh, i.e. 12.7% of primary energy consumption and 32% of electricity consumption. Biomass alone accounts for 70% of renewable primary energy consumption, but its resources are limited and its relative share is bound to decrease. The second major issue is industrial emissions resulting from chemical reactions in the production of aluminium, cement, glass, etc. and the combustion of fossil fuels. Energy-related industrial emissions increased by 10.2% from the previous year to 10.2 MtCO2eq. This increase was mainly due to the power generation, mineral oil processing and other industries (+2.4%) (Statistik-BW 2018).


At about 30%, transportation continues to account for the majority of GHG emissions in 2016. Accounting for 94% of road transport emissions, the 1.3% increase in its emissions in 2016 is mainly due to freight transport, whose emissions rose by 58.6% between 1990 and 2016. Conversely, emissions from passenger transport (cars, buses, motorcycles) decreased by 4% to 13.4 MtCO2eq in 2016 and represent 57% of road transport emissions. The 27% decrease in specific emissions (amount of CO2 per kilometre travelled) from passenger cars was not sufficient to compensate for the increase in annual mileage (+32.5% compared to 1990) and the resulting emissions. BW plans to electrify the entire car fleet by 2030 (Goals 2030). In 2017, 1800 charging stations were available in the region (1/6 of the national total) but electricity still represents only 1.5% of the total energy consumed by transport (emobil-sw 2018).


The waste management policy shows a reduction in GHG emissions of 5.8% from 2016 and 74.8% from 1990, and now accounts for only 1.4% of GHG emissions. Germany’s ban on landfilling of untreated organic waste and the increased efficiency of methane capture from landfills have led to a significant reduction in methane emissions. The Special Purpose Association of local authorities formed in the state of BW for waste management is considered an example in this respect (GIZ 2016).


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